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The Canon Elura 80 falls right in the sweet spot of affordable Mini DV camcorders at a price of $549 MSRR It uses an image sensor of 1.33 megapixels (1.33MP) to capture high-quality DV and good-quality digital stills. Unlike some other camcorders that capture stills only on tape (at much lower resolution), the Elura 80 captures them directly on a SD card. An 8-megabyte (8MB) SD card is supplied, but ideally you need at least a 256MB card (about $50) for digital stills or movie clips.
Its weight of 1.1 pounds and its dimensions of 2.8 by 3.1 by 5.2 inches won't tax your ability to hold it for long periods. But if you're really serious about your work, you should invest in a lightweight tripod.
The 18X optical zoom lens (3.5mm-60mm) is suitable for wide-angle to moderate-telephoto shots. The zoom lens control is the sliding switch type, with greater pressure in either direction creating a faster or a slower zoom. With practice, you can achieve slow, languid zooms. You can push the zoom range from 72X to 360X; however, at 360X, the image is useless. At the longer telephoto ranges, the built-in electronic image stabilization is very useful.
Like many other camcorders offering digital transitional effects, the Elura 80 also has its own collection: wipe corner, jump, flip, puzzle, zigzag, beam, and tide, with the names suggesting the type of effect you get. When an effect is created, the image freezes at the end of the outgoing scene, and then the camcorder goes into record pause. When you continue shooting, the transition …